Small business owners, we salute you!
Small and medium sized businesses are vital to the economy here in the UK. They account for 99.9% of private sector companies and provide 60% of private sector jobs. These enterprises have an important role to play in driving growth, opening new markets and creating jobs. But that’s not why we’re writing a book to help them.
We’re on a mission to help the people who own small businesses. People who want to make a difference, change the way things are done, and make life better for their clients. Profit is vital to small businesses owners, but it’s very rarely their only reason for being. They don’t have to please distant shareholders, they are free to run their own ship and follow a course of their own choosing.
Independently-minded, brave, resourceful and up for a challenge – the qualities that make a successful small business owner are all useful attributes for content marketers too. Of course these attributes aren’t exclusive to people working in small businesses – you’ll find fantastic people like this in companies of all shapes and sizes – it’s really a question of caring deeply about your customers and being in a position to take action.
It’s people like this that we believe can create the best content.
We know multinationals like Coca Cola have thrown their weight behind content marketing, and big businesses are switching budgets to creating content instead of just ads. There are some truly great books on content marketing just for them.
The businesses we want to help with our book are much smaller – we’re fixed on helping resourceful independent thinkers to build better businesses.
10 reasons why you’ll find the best content marketers in small businesses
Agility. You can make a strategic decision and act on it. The larger the company, the more cumbersome the decision making process. Nothing slows down change quicker than ‘getting various stakeholders on board.’ Bring that entrepreneurial spirit to your content – see it, think it, do it. Your ability to take action fast is a real strength when it comes to creating awesome content.
Belief. You probably started your business because you saw a better way of doing things, or you had a brilliant idea that you wanted to share with the world. You saw a way of working that would give you the lifestyle you wanted, without having to commit to someone else’s rules and the 9 to 5. Content marketing works for people like this. It’s the best way to get your story across.
Connection. One of the hard things about working in a small business is that you wear so many hats, but that’s a benefit when you’re creating content. You see the whole picture from all angles. There aren’t layers and layers between those who deal with customers day to day and those who produce the content. You know your customers and their challenges inside out – and this is the insight you need to produce the best content.
Community. The best content marketing is generous. Giving away useful information for free, sharing other people’s content, building relationships – all these draw like-minded people to your business. Putting an emphasis on helping and not selling widens your network of willing referrers, all happy to point the people who need you your way.
Trust. Trust matters to you. Your reputation is everything – you don’t have a huge PR department spinning stories on your behalf, so you’re judged by what you do and what you say. Content marketing helps you share the story of why you’re in business, and it lets you demonstrate the way your business helps. ‘Show not tell’ works brilliantly for businesses with integrity that aren’t huge.
Affordability. So Coca Cola didn’t stint on the budget for its campaign, but you don’t need a big budget to make content marketing work for you. Writing blogs and sharing them on social media is free. Podcasting is relatively inexpensive. You can make videos using a laptop. The tools are within your grasp – the only cost is time, and that’s yours to decide how you spend it.
Passion. Such a cliché we almost don’t dare type it, but we know our clients do have a genuine passion for what they do. You can see the sparks in their eyes when they talk about their work – and sparks in eyes fuels sparkling content too. Channel that enthusiasm into fabulously creative content, and you’re on to a winner.
Resilience. Content marketing is a long game, but as a small business owner you’ll already know that some of the most important things take time to get going. Patience, tenacity and determination drives successful content marketing – we bet you’ve already had to develop those qualities in spades!
Humanity. The best content tells the story of real people. More than ever these days we want to connect with the WHY of a business, and we crave human connection. Faceless corporations have a hard job appearing human – and they rarely do it convincingly – but your business has a real head start here. Every small business is unique and has a story to tell. You don’t have to fake personality – you already have it.
Bravery. It takes guts to start up your own business, and it’s a brave step to out your ideas out there and start writing. Creativity takes bravery, but bold moves are rewarded. Give it a go, that’s an attitude that small business people embrace.
We’re not saying it’s easy – we know from hard experience how tough it is to run a small business. Time is a big issue, and there’s only so much of you to go round. You need to spend both your hours and your money very carefully. But we are saying that you’re in the best position to make content marketing work for you.
You could be a lone ranger, or the owner of a business that employs 150 people – it’s the independent frame of mind and a genuine desire to make a difference to the lives of your clients/customers that gives you the edge on huge corporations. Marketing with valuable content gives you a fantastic opportunity to shine – or even to beat the big boys in your field.